Healthy emotion regulation is a vital component of wellbeing. Numerous intervention programmes have been created to foster adaptive emotion regulation; however, this research has been plagued by theoretical ambiguity and methodological limitations. Thus, the aim of the current research was to develop and validate a brief, methodologically sound, theory-based emotion regulation-training programme (ERT) enhancing cognitive reappraisal. In total, three studies were conducted to test the efficacy of this programme. The ERT training programme consisted of 4 major components: reappraisal, expressive writing, self-talk and mindfulness. In the first study, the programme was piloted in order to test the practicality and social validity of the programme. The second study employed a Canadian community sample (N = 75) that was randomly allocated to an intervention or control group. In this study, a one-year follow-up was conducted. The results showed that enhancing cognitive reappraisal increased life satisfaction and decreased emotional suppression after one year. In the third study a Canadian community sample (N = 104) was recruited, using a non-random, matched pairs, longitudinal design. The third study replicated and confirmed the main findings of the second study. More specifically, reappraisal decreased emotional suppression, worry and depressive symptomology and increased life satisfaction. In addition, a performance test, (a speed test involving memorization after watching an emotionally evocative video clip) showed that ERT could significantly improve the cognitive abilities of the intervention group. Thus, across the three studies, the effectiveness and the social validity of the ERT programme was demonstrated, as the use of reappraisal was consistently increased, eliciting a significant impact on the mental health indicators measured. The implications of these findings are discussed alongside study limitations and directions for future research. In conclusion, this research has practical implications in the health care field due to the concision and positive effects demonstrated by this brief, preventative ERT intervention.
|Date of Award||2013|
|Supervisor||Changiz Mohiyeddini (Supervisor) & Cecilia Essau (Supervisor)|